Troubleshooting Your Cable TV Connection

If you are having trouble receiving the campus cable television channels, try the following troubleshooting steps.

First Step: Be Sure That Your Television is Compatible

The campus cable TV system is all-digital, and your television must have a tuner capable of receiving these signals. If you do not receive any channels after performing a scan, your television may not have the required tuner. Check the specifications of your TV in the owner's manual to ensure that it includes a "QAM" tuner. You will probably also see "ATSC" and "NTSC" listed as types of tuners, but these are not sufficient.

If your television does not support the QAM tuner, you will need to obtain an external tuner box with a QAM tuner. Check our compatibility page for additional information.

Second Step: Run a Channel Scan on Your Television

Many problems can be resolved by running a channel scan on your television. This must be done when you first arrive on campus, or anytime a change is made to the cable configuration. Different brands and models may have different procedures, so refer to your owner's manual for additional information. When scanning, you may be given options such as "TV", "Digital TV", "Cable TV" and "Digital Cable TV". The campus cable system is "Digital Cable TV". Two test channels are also available on "Cable TV".

Channels 3 or 85 Only: Be Sure That Your Television is Compatible

Channels 3 and 85 are only included in the lineup as a test to verify connectivity for TVs with non-compatible tuners. If you receive this channel, then you are properly connected to the cable system, even if it is a little fuzzy. Review steps one and two above to be sure your device is compatible and configured correctly.

No Channels: Check the Other Faceplate

If you live in a double room, there is more than once faceplate in your room in most first-year buildings. If this is the case, then only one of those faceplates is activated, so try the other one. In some cases, a faceplate may have a DO NOT USE sticker on it. The sticker should be ignored when testing for this issue with cable TV.

No Channels or Distorted Channels: Check Your Cables

Check the cable between the faceplate and your television to be sure it is connected to the correct input and that it is connected tightly at both ends. To test that the cable itself is working properly, try it on another television and faceplate in another room that you know works.

No Channels or Distorted Channels: Check Another Faceplate

Try your television on a faceplate in another room that you know works. There may be an issue with the cabling to the faceplate that would need to be repaired.

Searching for Satellite Displayed: Contact the Help Desk

During some heavy storms, it is possible that we lose access to a channel for a short amount of time. If you see "Searching for Satellite" on a channel in normal weather, please report the issue to the help desk at 368-HELP.

Missing Broadcast Channels Only: Tuner Issue

There is an issue with some televisions of tuner boxes that prevents them from tuning the over-the-air channels. These devices will not receive any broadcast channels (3, 5, 8, 19, 25, 43, 55, 61) or they may be distorted. We have found this issue mainly on very inexpensive televisions or converter boxes. Although they do have a QAM tuner, they are unable to handle the amount of data sent through the broadcast channels.

There is no fix for this issue. This problem has been confirmed on all Iview devices. When the problem occurs, the Iview logo is displayed on the screen, and you may not be able to change the channel with the remote.

Missing Broadcast and Premium Channels: Tuner Issue

There is an issue with some older televisions that prevents them from tuning higher frequency channels on our system. Televisions that exhibit this problem will be missing all of the broadcast (3, 5, 8, 19, 25, 43, 55, 61) and premium (80 - 83) channels and possibly other hyperband channels (7, 10-12, 28, 32, 37, 56, 60, 72-75). This issue is rare, but has been seen on older (about 2010 or before) televisions, even from quality brands.

There is no fix for this issue.

Receiving Broadcast Channels Only: Tuner Issue

Some brands of television have the required QAM tuner, but are unable to lock onto the general cable channels. These devices will get boardcast channels (3, 5, 8, 19, 25, 43, 55, 61), and may also tune the premium channels (80 - 83) as well. This issue is more common inexpensive television brands, or bargain models from some mainstream brands.

There is currently no fix for this issue. We are currently working with our vendor to see if there are any ways to mitigate this issue from the distribution point.

No Signal or Missing Channel: Contact the Help Desk

Occasionally, there may be an issue with a single channel. If you can reproduce this issue on multiple devices, please report the issue to the help desk at 368-HELP. Your television may report that there is no signal on a channel, or the channel may not be available after you perform a channel scan.

Still Need Assistance?

Additional assistance is available from the [U]Tech Help Desk at 365-HELP or Before calling, be sure you have completed the appropriate troubleshooting steps listed above. You should also have your faceplate number, and the manufacturer and model of your TV available. It would also be helpful to know if any other students are experiencing the same issue, and whether the television in your lobby is working correctly.